During Friday evening’s Real Time on HBO, host Bill Maher praised the socialism instituted by the federal government of the ’50s and ’60s for creating a bustling middle class and hinted that it may be time for America to give it another go.
Maher dubbed the recent rise in rhetoric from politicians championing “middle-class economics” as “the new bullsh*t.” He then singled out members of the GOP for jumping on the middle-class economics bandwagon, pointing to recent comments by Jeb Bush and that super rich guy with “four mansions and a car elevator,” Mitt Romney.
Continuing his rant, Maher, wealthy in his own right, said:
There is no shame in the Republican game. This is the party that used to like to say, ‘A rising tide lifts all boats.’ Which is easy to say when you’re on the yacht.
So what’s happening is, the Democrats are proposing to nibble around the edges of our middle class problems, and the Republicans are pretending to care, while they go back to servicing eight rich d*ckheads who own coal mines.
But to revive an ailing middle class, Maher suggested a return to that old “economic tool” that created them in the first place:
And no one is telling the truth, which is that the large, thriving middle class that America used to have didn’t just appear out of the blue, it was created using an economic tool called, socialism. [audience cheers]
Oh I know, we never use that term here in buzzword nation, but that is exactly what our government did after World War II. It taxed the rich up to 90 percent and massively redistributed that money through the G.I. Bill, so that more than half the population benefited from free college, free job training, cheap mortgages, and much, much more.
Yes, for a brief, shining moment, we were Finland.
Now we can debate whether that’s a good thing, or a bad thing, to go back to, but what is beyond debate is that that is what happened. The ’50s and ’60s are the era of socialism in America. And that is when a family needed only one breadwinner and a house cost only two years’ salary…
Because here is the reality, a middle class is actually not the normal by-product of capitalism. Ask any historian, a middle class is actually a fluke in history.
Curiously, Maher did not volunteer a check including 90 percent of his annual income so that the rest of us could attend college for free.